Watch a 90-Year-Old Man Set a World Record in the Pole Vault

Aug 3, 2012
Outside Magazine

This past Wednesday, a video went live on YouTube showing 90-year-old Dr. William Bell setting a world record in his age group in the pole vault. Bell cleared a height of 7 feet 2 inches to set the mark for 90 to 94 year olds. While that might not seem like an impressive height for the pole vault, take a moment and think about how many 90 years olds you know that can sprint, much less launch themselves in the air. He trains at the same facility where his son, a former Olympian, coaches some of the world's best pole vaulters.

Earl Bell won the bronze medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (1:00 in the YouTube clip below) and then went on to coach pole vaulting. In 1991, he built a training facility in Arkansas called Bell Athletics, where he has continued to churn out Olympians. His father trains there as well, up to three times a week.

—Joe Spring

Filed To: Running

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